November 29, 2021 at 8:18 p.m.
Wussow, 21, topped the 2020 National Jersey Youth Achievement Contest earlier this year and was honored at the All-American Jersey Show during the North American International Livestock Exposition earlier this month in Louisville, Kentucky. He placed sixth in the 2019 contest, which honors the top 10 Jersey youth in the nation annually. This year, he was also recognized as the recipient of the V.L. Peterson Scholarship.
“I am definitely the person I am today because of the Jersey cow,” Wussow said. “She has impacted my life in so many ways, and I am better for that.”
Wussow, along with his parents, Ron and Nicolle, and sister and brother-in-law, Kaila and Joey Tauchen, and their daughter, Amelia, operate Milk-N-More Farms and Harvesting LLC, where they milk 100 cows and operate a custom cropping business. The herd is comprised of about 70% Jerseys and 30% Holsteins. Wussow owns a small herd within his family’s herd that consists of about 45 Jerseys and six Holsteins.
Wussow is in his senior year at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. At school, Wussow is involved in the Dairy Club, Agriculture Business and Marketing Society, the Alpha Gamma Rho-Alpha Psi fraternity and held a spot on the school’s World Dairy Expo judging team.
He will graduate in May with a major in agribusiness and minors in dairy and crop sciences. Following his graduation, Wussow plans to work in the agricultural sector for several years before returning home to the family farm full time.
“There are lots of possibilities for the future of our farm,” Wussow said. “Things like robotic technologies, on-farm processing and a variety of other things that are rolling around in my mind. I would also like to work with my sister and her husband to rely on the strengths of each other to be successful in the dairy industry.
Throughout his junior career, Wussow has been involved in many junior activities within both the American Jersey Cattle Association and the Wisconsin Junior Jersey Breeders. He has held a variety of leadership offices in the state organization and for the past year has been a member of the junior activities committee with the national organization.
“On the junior activities committee, we plan the junior show at the all-American and all of the other junior activities that happen there,” Wussow said. “Even though my junior career is done, I would like to continue on this committee because I think I have a lot to bring to the table, having just finished my years as a junior.”
One of the highlights of Wussow’s time as an AJCA junior member was attending the sixth Jersey Youth Academy in 2019, an educational leadership program held at the national office in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, for youth interested in both the Jersey breed and the dairy industry.
“Jersey Youth Academy was a great experience and is something I would encourage any young person interested in Jerseys to apply for,” Wussow said. “We learned so much about the Jersey breed, about the national association, genomics and so many other things.”
One of the highlights for Wussow were the farm tours the participants attended, which visited a variety of Jersey dairy farms and featured many forms of diversification from on-farm processing to agri-tourism. Wussow found the experience to be valuable and filled with potential ideas for his family’s farm.
“Seeing ways we can change and grow our farm to be better prepared for the future was really enlightening,” Wussow said.
Besides all of the knowledge gained during the week-long program, Wussow enjoyed creating a new level to his network of other Jersey enthusiasts like himself.
“I met so many different kids from all over the country with similar future interests,” Wussow said. “And we made connections with so many great adult mentors too.”
Wussow’s youth accomplishments are not limited to his Jersey experiences. In 2018, he was named the Star Farmer at the Wisconsin FFA Convention. In 2019, he represented Wisconsin as a finalist for the national FFA dairy entrepreneurship proficiency and received his American FFA Degree in 2020. He is also a member of the Shawano County and Wisconsin junior Holstein associations.
Wussow acknowledges no junior accomplishes what he has without a strong foundation of mentors and supporters. Outside of the support of his family, Wussow said he has had many mentors in not only the Jersey breed but in life in general.
“I owe a lot of gratitude to a lot of people who have helped me along the way,” Wussow said. “Jay and Heather Jauquet, Lynn and Sara Harbaugh, Rodney Hodgson, Walter and Joyce Owens, Lloyd Heinz, Trent Styczynski, Jon and Katie Holewinski, Ross and Amber Fischer, and Steve and Jill Tauchen and their families have all supported me for a long time. The U.S. Jersey staff has proved to be great mentors and supporters as well. They really want young Jersey breeders to succeed.”
As his junior career has wrapped up, Wussow hopes to continue his involvement in the state and national junior programs, being a mentor to youth.
“I have gotten so much from the Jersey cow and from all the people who love her as much as I do,” Wussow said. “I would like nothing more than to become that person for another kid.”
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